In defiance, Cruz perpetuates image of fractured GOP


Originally Posted: July 21, 2016

The unity that leaders in the Republican party were struggling to present to voters in this election cycle took a major blow Wednesday at the hands of the man who had once pledged to be the candidate they could coalesce around.

Ted Cruz stuck to his guns on Thursday, remaining adamant in his refusal to endorse Donald Trump, regardless of how damaging it may be to himself, or the party he is a part of.

In reacting to Cruz’s speech, Matthew Wilson, an associate professor of Political Science at Southern Methodist University, noted it brings back certain perceptions people have had about the Republican Party.

“It certainly reinforces the sense that the party is divided, that there are still significant doubts about [Trump’s] commitment to conservative principals and that’s not the message of unity that the party would ideally hope to project coming out of Cleveland,” Wilson said. READ MORE

Trump’s acceptance speech sets everything right


Originally Posted: July 22, 2016


Matthew Wilson


Trump kept surprises to a minimum during his acceptance speech, says Wilson, focusing on red meat instead.

“Trump didn’t pivot, he doubled down,” Wilson says. “His most powerful lines were about being a champion for forgotten working people. He is what he is, and the message and tone aren’t changing. We’ll see if it works.”

Wilson added that it was, “Interesting that Trump explicitly reached out to both gays and evangelicals,” but noted most of the speech focused on fear, not hope.

“Trump is betting that Americans are uneasy and looking for more acknowledgement of their anxieties than soaring, optimistic rhetoric,” Wilson says. “One of the songs playing in the hall after Trump won the nomination was ironic … ‘You can’t always get what you want.’” READ MORE

Matthew Wilson, Political Science, on Trump’s upcoming speech


Originally Posted: July 20, 2016

Trump To Take The Spotlight

The Republican Nominee for President takes the stage at the Republican National Convention Thursday Night. We asked Matthew Wilson at SMU what we can expect to hear from Donald trump.

He says to not expect the conventional political speech form Trump because there is nothing conventional about him.

Wilson says Trump needs to show a more approachable, humanistic side of himself to help get him over with Republicans who are not ready to support him. LISTEN

Tower Center Associate Edward Rincón’s research featured in the Dallas Morning News


Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: July 20, 2016

Tower Center Associate Edward T. Rincón was featured in the Dallas Morning News discussing his research company’s recent study about the affects of the growing Latino population in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  READ MORE

Meet the Scientist: Eveline Kuchmak, an SMU alumna and current Manager of Temporary Exhibitions at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science

The Rock Report

Originally Posted: July 18, 2016

Meet: Eveline Kuchmak

Another Southern Methodist University alumna (Pony Up!), Eveline graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Economic Sociology. Growing up she “lived for trips to art and science museums, space camp, Pony Club veterinary workshops, and the latest issue of National Geographic.” She was homeschooled for much of her childhood and her parents always made sure she had a healthy dose of curiosity. After graduation, she attended archaeological field school in New Mexico which only reinforced her desire to discover new things and share these experiences. This path has led her to a career inspiring others through science museums.

She began working at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in education and public programs; however, at the beginning of this year she transitioned into her new role as Manager of Temporary Exhibits. READ MORE


Texas GOP leaders haul in campaign cash

Houston Chronicle

Originally Posted: July 18, 2016

AUSTIN – Texas’ most prominent Republican leaders are building big – in some cases enormous – political war chests more than 18 months ahead of their next election.

From Gov. Greg Abbott to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to Attorney General Ken Paxton, statewide officials are flush with millions of dollars in the bank well ahead of the 2018 re-election season, new records show.

The lone exception: Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, whose first term in a statewide office has been marred by controversy. Miller’s campaign reported just $63,000 in the bank, by the far the lowest of any statewide official.

New campaign finance reports released over the weekend show just how much money Republican state leaders have banked since taking office last year.

Abbott has amassed $28.6 million, easily surpassing the $20 million in campaign cash he had when he launched his last gubernatorial bid. Patrick, who as lieutenant governor is considered the state’s second-most powerful politician, has nearly $9.3 million in the bank.

Far in advance

Statewide officials will not be on the ballot again until the March 2018 Republican primary. Most are expected to cruise through that process uncontested, leaving the real election test more than two years away.

But some could draw opponents in the primary that could require substantial spending to thwart, said Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University. READ MORE

Congratulations to Timothy S. Myers, Neil J. Tabor, Louis L. Jacobs and Robert Bussert, co-authors of a new paper in the Journal of Sedimentary Research

Journal of Sedimentary Research

Originally Posted: July 19, 2016

Congratulations to Timothy S. Myers, Neil J. Tabor, Louis L. Jacobs and Robert Bussert, co authors of a new paper in the Journal of Sedimentary Research titled “EFFECTS OF DIFFERENT ORGANIC-MATTER SOURCES ON ESTIMATES OF ATMOSPHERIC AND SOIL pCO2 USING PEDOGENIC CARBONATE.” READ MORE


Harrison Fagg, the youngest Montana delegate will attend SMU this fall

Great Falls Tribune

Originally Posted: July 18, 2016

CLEVELAND — The youngest and oldest members of Montana’s delegation to the Republican National Convention bring very different perspectives to the quadrennial event.

The 27 Montana delegates casting votes will include World War II veteran Dennis Scranton, 92, and recent high-school graduate Harrison Fagg, 19. They are both supporting Donald Trump.

“I decided to run (as a delegate) because I figured this election will probably shape the rest of my life,” Fagg said. “The younger people have a lot more to lose from a poor president, a poor nomination process or even a poor platform for any of the major parties.”

Fagg was optimistic his first convention would not only be a learning experience, but one he could use to lobby on behalf of youth and make sure the GOP principles aren’t focused just on older delegates. Republicans, he said, need to do more to help the middle class get a higher education through an increase in grants and other programs.

“Even though I’m fiscally conservative, I think every dollar you invest in college is definitely worth it,” said Fagg, a Billings resident who will attend Southern Methodist University this fall. READ MORE


History professor John Chavez presented paper in public forum July 11

Originally Posted: July 19, 2016
UnknownStephanie Lewthwaite, winner of a Southwest Center fellowship for 2010, invited SMU History Professor John Chavez to present a paper, ‘Aliens or Natives: Mexicans in the Southwestern United States’ in a public forum sponsored by the University of Nottingham in Great Britain on July 11, 2016.